POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for continuing to slaughter whales?

  • 516

The past two years have been tough going for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

A big part of its mission since 2005 has been to intercept and stop Japanese ships from whales. Every such outing costs Sea Shepherd about $4 million. In the years when they found success and actually foiled Japan’s whalers, that investment was well worth it. Today, though, Japan is routinely one step ahead of them.

“Every time we approached them, they would be just over the horizon,” Sea Shepherd’s founder, Captain Paul Watson, told The Washington Post. “They knew where we were at every moment. We’re literally wasting our time and our money.”

Why? Because Japan now uses military-quality surveillance equipment to monitor the Sea Shepherd vessels. This allows Japanese whalers to always know in real time where the Sea Shepherd ships are. There’s no opportunity anymore for the organization’s ships to actually intercept Japanese operations and save the whales being targeted.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

Since 1986, there’s been a moratorium on instituted by the International Commission (IWC). Japan is a signatory to the IWC, but it ignores this moratorium by creating a feeble fiction. Every year, it says the whales it kills are taken in the name of “research.” That word is even stenciled on their vessels.

Japan says once its “research” is done, it must not waste the by-products that come from the whales. This is why whale meat ends up in restaurants and school lunches all over Japan. They’re not just out there brazenly hunting whales for the profit it brings, they say. No one really believes this assertion, of course.

The International Court of Justice temporarily stopped Japan’s whaling in 2014, finding that it simply was not done for scientific purposes. Japan stopped whaling for a year, then picked it right back up again in 2016 and 2017. Up to now, Sea Shepherd’s success in preventing whale deaths by Japanese has been impressive.

Japanese whaling ship the Nisshin Maru with a captured whale. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

In a news release, the organization highlighted some of those achievements:

Sea Shepherd was relentless in reducing [Japan’s] yearly quotas significantly and in 2012/2013 the Japanese whalers went home with only about 10% of their intended kills. We did this at the same time the U.S. Federal Court put significant legal obstacles in our path.

The results speak for themselves. Over 6,000 whales saved. Not a single killed and only 10 endangered Fin whales killed in a decade where 500 were slated to die. In addition, the Japanese whalers lost tens of millions of dollars.

Sadly, in March 2017, Japanese whalers returned after a four month expedition with 333 dead minke whales. In part, that’s because Sea Shepherd has been unable to stop them as effectively as they once could.

The non-profit is therefore stepping back after 12 years of whale wars to regroup. It needs to figure out how best to proceed in light of this new and difficult obstacle. However, Captain Watson vows his fight is not over.

There are those who love what the Sea Shepherd does, and those who decry it as too aggressive and violent. However, when no other entity or country seems inclined to take Japan on, what are these conservationists to do? Watch the whales die as the world ignores Japan’s flouting of international law?

There are no easy answers, but Watson and his Sea Shepherd colleagues know where they stand.

“Sea Shepherd’s continuing efforts to go after and shut down whalers will continue, and not only against Japanese whaling, but also against Norwegian, Danish, and Icelandic whaling,” said the group in a news release. “This is what we have been doing for forty years. We will never quit until the abomination of whaling is abolished forever by anyone, anywhere, for any reason.”

This article was first published by Care2.com on 05 Sep 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether Japan should be sanctioned for continuing to whales? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should Japan be sanctioned for continuing to slaughter whales?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Thank you for voting.

Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter



Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

  • 516

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
Elbe Astel

VOTED: Yes (97%, 492 Votes) — No (2%, 12 Votes) — Don’t Know (0%, 1 Votes) — Total Voters: 505

Marie-France Durand


Aline Lazic


Joelle Jojo Mamour Barrier


Carmen Caron

Oui oui oui oui oui oui oui c est de la torture animale c est un massacre d animaux sans défense

Carmen Codoni

As I heard in the news can be that Japan will pay one day the bill …

Petra Kreuzer


Nadia Bouzerdeb Saidi


Chantal Micha


Linda French

They should be more than sanctions. MONSTERS

Dominique Benoit-Girard


Chris Hernandez


Patricia Guiran

Ptg fait

Marianne Kunitz

YES they should!!

Simon Tucker

Your point is? I have several books on whales, including Lyall Watson’s “Whales of the World” and have been lucky enough to see Sperm Whales, Harbour Porpoise, Bottle-nosed and Common Dolphins and I hope every whale slaughtering inhuman bastard, and their apologists, die horrible and appropriate deaths: car coming of the road and the perp being impaled on a fence post seems karmic enough for me.

Amit Roy

Absolutely a big NO.

Isabelle Fernandès

SONDAGE EN FIN D’ARTICLE : Le Japon devrait-il être sanctionné pour continuer à massacrer les baleines?

Oui (97%, 359 Votes)
Non (3%, 10 votes)
Ne sait pas (0%, 1 Votes)
Nombre total d’électeurs: 370

Katey O Fiske

Definitely BOYCOTT JAPAN!!!!!! I will never eat in a Japanese restaurant again!!! I will make sure NOTHING I buy comes from a country that treats humans AND animals so cruelly!

Maggie Calkins


Bruce Batchelor

Boycott Japan

Norma Hurt

yes 100%

Alexander Roberts

Yes (97%, 284 Votes)

Caroline Lea

Yes, absolutely 100% the Japanese should be sanctioned as should any other country that murders whales, and the poor dolphins of Taiji. I would just love to see them lose all their export orders for everything then see how long the ba$tard$ carry on killing! They need to be really hurt financially to make them stop. I can’t believe how submissive the Japanese people are to their government that they allow millions of their tax money to be used to prop up an industry that would otherwise die.

Linda Savage

Certainly yes

Leigh Lofgren

Wishing you all the very best and something needs to be done to Japan and anyone else who is slaughtering them

Carlos Augusto Correia


Bunni Merk

should be shot and spit on, nasty bastards!

Anne Rennie

Fight the Good Fight and God bless and help you in what you are doing for the whales. My prayers and hopes go with you

Barry Frederick Baudains

Absolutely yes.

Judy Rees


Sue Lesmond

Another Hirroshoma would be fantastic.Japan is a vile animal murdering country as is the rest of filthy asia.

Michele Jankelow

Am devastated that Sea Shepherd will no longer be present and thwarting Japanese whale brutality in the oceans. It is hard to go up against government funding and bringing in naval operations to “protect” these whalers. I have always felt secure in knowing that the whales were forever to be protected by Sea Shepherd! This is a crisis on so many fronts. Somehow Japan has to be stopped from whaling, from Taiji, from Tuna fishing …….! There has to be some way! It is interesting that so many NGO’s are doing what governments should be doing and honouring our beautiful… Read more »

Ana Paula Santos Almeida

Espetacular! Parabéns!

Jenny Grinstead

Hell Yes!

Lela Gary

Absolutely! How about Boycotting their products or Fine them under Wildlife Animal Abuse? Anybody on info if this can be done?

Celie Horne

Japan should be bombed for slaughtering whales and dolphins. After all,we’ve started wars based on lies.

Petter Eliseussen

Do you even know that there is different types of whales?